{stranger}

Hello.

It’s been 10 months since I stopped blogging. I found myself thinking about this old space today, wondering what it was that drew me in so tightly and allowed me to share all my thoughts with the world. All those strangers, all those friends. All the ups and downs, navigating marriage, babies, jobs, life.

And how quickly it all became meaningless. How suddenly the words disappeared, and my “voice” faded away. 

How does one’s written history, one’s journal, become obsolete?

Can I just pick up the proverbial pen and continue this story where I left off? 

 

It feels awkward, yet comfortable to sit at my keyboard. The layout of the blog dashboard has changed; it’s like revisiting a childhood home with new owners. It’s still the same place…but different.

The past year has been huge for our family, in only-positive ways. We’ve grown together, celebrated together. There has been very little sadness. That which was sad was still not deeply sad; it was more of an experience than a heartbreak at any given time. Our family has thrived, our careers have blossomed, our sweet babies have grown into little ladies. Teeth have been lost, and friendships have grown.

There is nothing I have wanted for.

Maybe that is why I am at a loss as to what this little blog is anymore. It used to be a place of hopes and dreams, of wishes and what-ifs. Now, I feel as though I am living my happy life. My only wish is that life continues to be as content as it is today. That good-byes become travel opportunities. That winters become beaches. That all that we have worked so hard to overcome continues to shape us each and every day.

I feel as though I have finally arrived. I have conquered so many demons, from bad jobs to bad cheques, bad relationships to bad thoughts. I have become what I need to be to be truly happy.

I have nothing to complain about anymore, and maybe that is why this space is still silent.

I am so happy to be a stranger to this space of awkward confusion, of searching, of grasping, of reaching for some meaning. I have all the meaning I need, and I am so happy for the first time in my life. Not that social media “happy” filled with gushing, inane declarations of perfection. No, I am happily flawed, grown, wrinkled, stretched, tested, settled, and satisfied.

I am happy to leave this space in silence, as a testament to who I was, and no longer who I am.

Farewell to 2013

2013 was a roller coaster with no level ground. It was either very high or very low, and for that reason I will be very happy to bid it farewell!!

I’ve had very bad years and very good years…but the constant shift in 2013 was far too great a strain on my life. I’ll take and cherish the highs for all time, but I am ready to forget the pain that filled in the gaps between those happy times. The broken windows, the lost rental incomes, the family dramas, the losses, the health problems, the injuries, the fights, the tears, the worries…I’m tying them up in a bundle, locking them in a safe, and pitching them into the ocean.

I’m keeping the new babies, the dancer love, the incredible festival run, the laughter, the growth, the friendships, the support, the coffee, the smiles, the survival skills, the savings accounts, and the lessons learned. I’m keeping the forgiveness as well.

I am NOT keeping the 15lbs I gained since August.

I became a Burlesque BOOM instructor. I took an aerial circus arts course. I won choreography awards. I had a wonderful first dance season and am in the midst of the second. My babies went to kindergarten. We went to Mexico. My Sku had her little girl. My Cheryl moved to Bulgaria. I made new friends. I had my first birthday event in years. I swallowed my fear and made the first move to repair a friendship. I learned to loom knit!!! I found Snerf. I dyed my hair hot pink. I donated blood.

I’ll hang on to all of that for 2014. But when the clock strikes midnight, I will be more than ready to move on and slam the door to 2013 behind me!

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Connected

I know I said I was done blogging…but this is a part of the chapter that started back when this blog was a baby

A couple months after my girls were born, my high school music teacher sent the girls a copy of For The Kids, and I’ve been singing The Rainbow Connection to them ever since.

In those late nights of nursing and rocking, I knew that singing it 4 times equalled about 15 minutes. Then I’d switch babes, and sing another 4 rounds. 2, 3, 4 times a night for that first year. I’ve sang it thousands of times. For five and a half years, I’ve sang that song to them and it’s still the only lullaby I know.

I sang it twice to each of them tonight with my hand tangled in their sun-soaked hair. I watched their eyes flutter heavily until they couldn’t stay open any longer. I listened to their breaths grow deeper and felt their fingers relax under my other hand.

Five and a half years of lyrics about holding onto dreams. One more day of holding my babies before they step up inside that big yellow bus and head out into the world. My little dreamers. Where have those long nights gone?

A fond farewell: SBC #6

A little over 5 years ago, I wrote my first blog post here at MagzD Life. Back then, it was called This Next Step. Appropriate, since I was a new mom, newly married, fresh into my new career…

I was a different person. I had a different voice and needed a platform. I craved a bit of attention as I struggled to find myself. I went from Meaghan Veinot to Meaghan Dickert to mom of two in under 10 months. It was overwhelming.

In the years that have passed, this blog has given me a voice. It’s helped me connect when I feel alone and to express when I feel choked. It has been my corner of the internet. It has been my Christmas card to family, my baby books, and my journal. It has gotten me through the highs and lows.

Yet now, it sits neglected and dusty. I lack the enthusiasm for writing that I had three or four years ago. These days, blogging feels like an insincere commitment, something that sits behind me and guilts me. I don’t feel as through I am writing for myself anymore. I feel as though I am writing for an audience, and my ability to entertain has been sapped.

I don’t feel like Magz here anymore. I had hoped that the Summer Blog Challenge would give me that boost, but it hasn’t. I find myself staring at a list of writing prompts and not wanting to write the stories in my head. I don’t want to share here.

Like any classic break up, it’s not you. It’s me. I’ve changed, and I’m ready to move on. I’ll keep my blog up for as long as it takes to find a suitable way to transfer it to hard copy so that I can keep this small history of my world permanently.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my story. Your comments have brought many smiles to my face over the years.

Take care until we meet again.

Xoxo,
MagzD

This I Promise(d) You – SBC #5

There are very few artists that can define a generation. A few years ago, we lost Michael Jackson. Despite his personal life, there is no denying that he was a musical genius and had a HUGE impact on the contemporary dance world. The man was perfection.

I never thought I’d be sitting here writing this, but tonight I have to confess: I think that Justin Timberlake has officially become the MJ of this century. His style is obviously influenced by the King of Pop, but he absolutely has the talent to back it up. And the man is sheer performance perfection:

(I can’t find a YouTube to embed…so click HERE)

Maybe it’s the dance. I can’t get over the detail. Maybe it’s because almost every major single takes me back to a very specific time in my 20s. Maybe it’s because I am secretly a 15-year old girl at heart.

I don’t know.

But the music stirs my soul, even when I swear I don’t like it (*cough* Suit & Tie *cough*). I can’t sit still. His music is made for dancers, and I can’t stop loving it.

So, judge me. Or agree with me. I don’t care. I have a long history of boy-band appreciation dating back to NKOTB and the concert tickets my dad STILL owes me from 1990. Pop choreography made me want to become a dancer and choreographer. Paula Abdul was my 9-year old inspiration.

And JT has kept me going all these years. Now excuse me while I hit the dance floor.

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This post is a part of the Summer Blog Challenge 2013. You can check out the full list of participants HERE, and comment on Liam’s blog to join us! Meanwhile, check out what Liam, Natasha, Zita, Hethr, April, and others are up to:)

On copping out: SBC #4

I have a really solid post for the challenge, but we had a long day and I’m not up to writing it out and digging for pictures at 10pm. Tomorrow, you finally get a good post!!

Today was brought to you by an awesome rainbow birthday party for our friends’ daughter, far too much rainbow food, a much-needed nap, a lazy evening fire, and a family movie night with ParaNorman.

All in all, a perfect recipe for a perfect family day.

I even worked up the nerve to introduce Snerf to the joys of dog-bathing and didn’t dislocate any joints (hers or mine) in the process!!

Thus, I am exhausted and rambling just enough to fill my Summer Blog Challenge quota for the day. I promise you, the other participants have made up for me:)

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This post is a part of the Summer Blog Challenge 2013. You can check out the full list of participants HERE, and comment on Liam’s blog to join us! Meanwhile, check out what Liam, Natasha, Zita, Hethr, April, and others are up to:)

Added costs: SBC #3

There is an article floating around the interwebz this week that has created quite the stir. Apparently, the Fraser Institute has decided that the cost of raising a child is much less than most Canadians estimate. They are reporting that it costs an average of $4,500/year** per child for basics (food, clothing, school, etc). This doesn’t include extracurricular activities or day care costs. Basically, it is the estimated additional amount that an existing household spends to add another family member.

Now, the point of this post is NOT to argue with how much you spend on your kids, or to create some kind of pissing contest to whether or not money = love or why some parents may be better than others, or any of that other BS parenting-wars fodder. This is my own exploration of how much my kids cost our family and why we spend what we do.

So here are the basics, per kid, per year:

  • Food: about $200 per month per kid
  • Clothing: less than $500/year for both kids, so $250 each
  • School supplies/clothes/seasonal wear: $500-ish for both kids, again $250 each
  • Health costs: less than $300/year total, so $150 each

Now, those are the mandatory needs. Our total? $3,050 for each kid.

Even if I add in our optional costs, it doesn’t add up to much:

  • RESPs: $100/month per kid
  • Swimming lessons: $60/session per kid, times 3 = $180/year
  • Christmas/birthdays: $300/year for each kid

That’s another $1,680 each year. So in total, my kids are costing us about $4,730 each year. That’s just over the average estimate.

We don’t clip coupons or garden or sew our own clothes. I’m not a DIY-er or an upcycler. I generally suck at being thrifty. That being said, I do save on clothes and other “disposables”. I will NOT buy my kids shoes that cost more than $20/pair or jeans that are more than $15/pair. Even then, I cringe. We are buying two of every size with twins, and there is no one to hand them down to, to break up the cost over a couple of kids. But our food cost is significantly higher now that our girls have been diagnosed as celiac. Our food bill went from $500/month pre-celiac to over $1000/month post-diagnosis. Our income is  comfortable enough, although it would be much more comfortable if we got rid of that stupid duplex!!

And yet, we are still in the zone of this study. Am I crazy to wonder what the heck everyone else is spending on their kids to make this so unrealistic?? I would honestly (and non-judgementally) love to know what ups your cost for basic needs. Do you eat out a lot as a family? Are you a lover of shopping? (I hate shopping lol).

I’d love to hear how you stack up in the comments! I find the whole conversation fascinating:)

**final estimate is on page 46, in the conclusion of the study

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This post is a part of the Summer Blog Challenge 2013. You can check out the full list of participants HERE, and comment on Liam’s blog to join us! Meanwhile, check out what LiamNatashaZitaHethrApril, and others are up to:)